Alan Cumming is a Scottish character actor, very talented but not a leading man. He sings, has been in Broadway musicals, and is a Shakespearean actor. I know him best from his ongoing role as Eli Gold in the tv drama, The Good Wife. "Not My Father's Son" is Alan Cumming's story of rejection of and abuse by his father. His life was shaped and twisted by tortured secrets of his past.
Alan's quest to discover why his father hated him enough to beat and continually berate him is launched when he agrees to be a guest on Who Do You Think You Are, a popular tv program that features celebrities and looks into their families to "find out who they are." The program's drama comes from the secrets and surprises that the show uncovers. Not all of the information is happy, of course.
Cumming tells his story by alternating chapter from his childhood with chapters from 2010 when he finds out about his family history. This is a memoir of abuse and family dysfunction, of infidelity and heroism. Not My Father's Son demonstrates how a victim of abuse is shadowed by it always but it also shows the memories and wounds must be dealt with. A book that is hard to read but harder to put down.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.